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On Sophistical Refutations   



that Coriscus is Coriscus and that the approaching figure is

approaching. To know and not to know the same thing is generally

thought to be possible, when e.g. one knows that X is white, but

does not realize that he is musical: for in that way he does know

and not know the same thing, though not in the same respect. But as to

the approaching figure and Coriscus he knows both that it is

approaching and that he is Coriscus.

A like mistake to that of those whom we have mentioned is that of

those who solve the proof that every number is a small number: for if,

when the conclusion is not proved, they pass this over and say that

a conclusion has been proved and is true, on the ground that every

number is both great and small, they make a mistake.

Some people also use the principle of ambiguity to solve the

aforesaid reasonings, e.g. the proof that 'X is your father', or

'son', or 'slave'. Yet it is evident that if the appearance a proof

depends upon a plurality of meanings, the term, or the expression in

question, ought to bear a number of literal senses, whereas no one

speaks of A as being 'B's child' in the literal sense, if B is the

child's master, but the combination depends upon Accident. 'Is A

yours?' 'Yes.' 'And is A a child?' 'Yes.' 'Then the child A is yours,'

because he happens to be both yours and a child; but he is not 'your

child'.

There is also the proof that 'something "of evils" is good'; for

wisdom is a 'knowledge "of evils"'. But the expression that this is

'of so and-so' (='so-and-so's') has not a number of meanings: it means

that it is 'so-and-so's property'. We may suppose of course, on the

other hand, that it has a number of meanings-for we also say that

man is 'of the animals', though not their property; and also that

any term related to 'evils' in a way expressed by a genitive case is

on that account a so-and-so 'of evils', though it is not one of the

evils-but in that case the apparently different meanings seem to

depend on whether the term is used relatively or absolutely. 'Yet it

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